[Mgs] No Go Mystery

Jim Tinkham tink5775 at gmail.com
Wed May 4 06:42:26 MDT 2016

I like Gordie’s thought, I’ve seen coils do the same.  Something else to
look at if the coil is good is the alternator, the one on my C wasn’t
rebuilt properly and would fail at higher temps causing similar symptoms.


On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 8:25 AM, Gordie Bird via Mgs <mgs at autox.team.net>

> I’ve seen the coil fail intermittently, seems fine when cold, but fails
> when warm.  You have coil mounted on inner fender or bracket (like 1600),
> right?  Unlikely all plug wires would fail at same time, but,  if the coil
> wire was bad…
> Have you checked spark once coil heats up?  Weak coil possibly producing a
> weak or no spark when hot?
> Sudden failure as you describe; to me would indicate something in the
> electrics.
> I’d throw my spare coil, then condenser, then coil wire at it and see what
> happens.
> Good luck!
> Gordie
> ’62 MGA
> *From: *Robert J. Guinness via Mgs <mgs at autox.team.net>
> *Sent: *Tuesday, May 3, 2016 8:05 PM
> *To: *MG List <mgs at autox.team.net>
> *Subject: *[Mgs] No Go Mystery
> While on a long drive in the hinterlands of KY in my 1960 MGA with a
> 3-main 1800 MGB engine, I nearly ran out of gas after about 170 miles that
> day.  I found a gas station and refueled (the gas had alcohol and I usually
> run non-alcohol gas).  About 30 miles later, the car started to lose power
> and then quit. Figured it was a clogged fuel line, but fuel was pumping out
> of the fuel line at the rear carb and there was gas in both float bowls.
> Cleaned out both float bowls.  Had spark from the coil and to all plugs.
> Had just replaced spark plugs and gapped them to spec two days previously.
> Regapped points (1 year old 25D distributor). Nothing.  Sprayed starting
> fluid in the carbs.  Nothing. Locals towed me back to town. Locals played
> with wires under the bonnet at the coil as I politely batted them away.  As
> a last ditch effort, I advanced the timing and it caught at high revs!
> Drove a few miles, but lost power as I accelerated and stopped.  Stripped
> and reattached coil wire to harness.  Started, drove a couple of miles,
> faded, and stopped. Towed it home.  At home, it started reluctantly.  It
> drove for a couple of miles and it faded and quit. Gas  in rear carb float
> bowl but no gas at the front carb float bowl. Blew air from fuel pump back
> to gas tank with audible air flow at the gas tank.  Replaced the float bowl
> needle and seat at the front carb.  Fuel pumping nicely at both front and
> rear carbs.  Have spark from the coil and to all plugs. Static timed.
> Nothing, doesn't even try to catch. I do not have a fuel filter other than
> stock sleeve in the fuel pump. No odd sounds. I am stupefied ( except for
> the possibility of clogged jets, but if so why wouldn’t it start with
> starter fluid).  If it is the coil or condensor, why am I getting spark?
> Why would advancing the timing get it to go at such high revs that one
> time, but normal timing gives you nothing at all, not even a spit? Do I
> have a cam flat spot problem? How have I angered the British engineering
> gods?  Any hints or diagnostic suggestions?  I have also posted to the MG
> experience folks
> --
> Robert Guinness
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